FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Regional Grad Fest Society has sent out a release to students and parents outlining their planning guidelines and proposed events for this year’s Gradfest.

This comes after an outcry from community members and parents, with the possibility that some graduates may not be able to participate due to vaccine requirements.

The society has begun planning activities and events for grads without knowing what provincial health guidelines will look like in the summer. Meetings have been conducted with parents and committee members to gather feedback on how the celebration may look.

As a registered charity, the society says they are liable for the activities they organize and are required to follow all public health orders.

“We must keep the safety and interests of the students, volunteers and society a top priority and will be as inclusive as possible,” said the release.

The society says it will keep tabs on PHOs and make changes when needed and has reached out to Northern Health to ask about implementing special considerations and allowances for grad-related events.

The prom is being organized with the hopes that proof of vaccination won’t be needed, the society said.

The event is being proposed to take place at the curling rink on June 17th, and the society says the location allows them to adapt to a variety of health orders.

“Additionally, it ensures all volunteer time and preparations are not impacted by weather and security can be easily managed.”

If the prom event is not possible due to health orders, the society looks to plan an alternative that does meet the requirements.

The student prom committee is also providing input on many aspects associated with planning and will be sending surveys to graduating students for their input.

The Gradfest team also wants to clarify that the $80 grad fee is provided to the school to cover the graduation ceremony costs, which is not affiliated with the society.

“Our committee of volunteers is determined to do our best to ensure our grads have a variety of safe opportunities to enjoy and celebrate their achievement. We are hopeful that by June, the PHOs will be significantly reduced and we won’t face so many restrictions.”

The society’s letter to graduates and their parents can be viewed below: